A federal judge declared Colorado's gay marriage ban unconstitutional but stayed his ruling pending the outcome of appeals to a higher court.
U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore issued the ruling Wednesday in a lawsuit. A state judge issued a similar ruling earlier this month in a separate case.
The federal lawsuit, filed by six gay couples on July 1, names Gov. John Hickenlooper, Attorney General John Suthers and clerks from Denver and Jefferson counties as defendants.
One day after the lawsuit was filed, Suthers' office asked the judge to stop proceedings in the case, pending a final resolution of a 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that found Utah's ban on gay marriages unconstitutional. As part of the request, Suthers asked that a stay be put in place, ensuring that county clerks do not begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples until a higher court makes a ruling.
Attorneys for the couples say Suthers should not be allowed to concede the law is unconstitutional and at the same time ask the judge to uphold the ban.
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